President Kovind Meets His Old Friend At Utkal University

Bhubaneswar: On occasion of valedictory session of Utkal University platinum jubilee celebrations on Sunday, an instance of true friendship caught everyone’s attention when President Ram Nath Kovind called out to meet his old friend Veerbhadra Singh, a former Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha.

While President Kovind attended the platinum jubilee function of the varsity as the chief guest, coincidentally, Veerbhadra who is an alumni of Utkal University also attended the event today.

Sources said Veerbhadra had expressed his desire to meet Kovind much before his arrival. He even had asked the President’s security officers to allow him to offer a rose to the President, only to be rejected.

But his desire soon turned into reality when after completing his address, the President himself recognised Veerbhadra sitting in the audience and immediately asked his officers to arrange a meeting with him. Later, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan asked Veerbhadra to come on to stage to meet the President.

Asked about the incident, Veerbhadra said, “I am amused that he remembers me, although we haven’t met since 12 years.”

“I wanted to meet President Kovind and give him a rose but I was denied access to him as his security protocol doesn’t allow such last minute changes. But I am glad that he met me after recognising me from the stage,” added Singh.

As per reports, both Veerbhadra Singh and President Kovind were Rajya Sabha Members from 2001 to 2005. Singh studied in Utkal University from 1965 to 1967 for which he was invited to the alumnus meet on the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the university.